The Governor Of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola of and human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, yesterday, urged state governors to take urgent steps at nipping herdsmen attacks in the bud, saying it was not the Federal Government’s duty to maintain law and order in states.
Yet one cannot help but wonder at the omission of constitutional restrains on the part of the State Governors. For one, Nigeria operates a central police command where everything is routed through the Inspector General Of Police in Abuja. State Governors being head of security in their respective states is a bogus legal statement with no enforceability.
But with 2019 elections closing in, the herdsmen debacle must be dealt with even if it requires blaming the Governors.
We have witnessed instances in Anambra where security details of Governors have been withdrawn, we have had instances in Rivers state where a sitting Commissioner Of Police acted as de facto Governor, dabbling into political affairs without restraints. We have seen instances on national TV where a high ranking Police officer blatantly insulted the Governor of Benue State and refused to apologise despite a national uproar.
And just recently, we have seen the Inspector General Of Police defy the Senate three times with no consequences.
There’s no law in Nigeria that places the various Commissioners Of Police under the respective command of State Governors and it is conveniently so as the 1999 constitution is still a military one draped with false civilian garb.
But Falana thinks “A governor cannot go to the television and cry of his people being killed, no. Under the 1999 constitution, section 214, we didn’t have a federal government police but a Nigerian police force, which shall be controlled, organised and supervised by the Nigerian police council, who are the members of the Nigerian Police Council, the president as Chairman, Inspector General of Police, the Chairman of the service commission and the 36 state governors. So we have a body where the governor continues to determine the fate of the police”.
However, the smooth talking Femi Falana couldn’t stay long on the path of falsity without contradicting himself here: “…. you have the power to give instruction to the police, the only time he can disapprove your instructions is when he says please, I want to confirm from the President.”
In order words the Police would need the President’s accent before carrying out a lawful duty on request by the Governor.
Legal dishonesty cannot get anymore appalling to public taste.
Written by Andrews Iyke